MANILA — The next administration should implement the country’s renewable energy (RE) program that will help ease the power situation, at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment.
Vice presidential candidate and Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is convinced that the program offers the best solution to avert power crisis and address an ever-increasing energy demand.
“We need to boost our renewable energy program and this should be prioritized to ensure economic development while protecting our environment,” said the lawmaker, who advocates for renewable energy, adding that the next administration must increase the country’s RE capacity targets to make it at least 50 percent by 2030.
At present, some 70 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, 90 percent of which are imported. Experts have predicted that if the country remains to be coal and oil-dependent, Filipinos should expect higher power costs because of the steady increase in the prices of these fossil fuels in the world market.
“The next administration should be aggressive in increasing our renewable energy programs by encouraging companies to build more solar, wind and hydrogen power plants,” Marcos said in a statement.
He noted it can be done by giving them additional perks on their investments and cutting bureaucratic red tape.
Currently, the Bureau of Investments (BOI) gives incentives to RE companies which include income tax holiday for seven years and duty-free importation of renewable energy machinery.
“Our government needs to give support for research and investigation of possible sites for RE endeavors and pilot locations as well as give them more tax exemptions in the production aspect,” he added.
In 2003, Marcos helped build the first wind farms in Southeast Asia while he was governor of Ilocos Norte. The wind farms have become the country’s flagship projects for renewable energy.
At the Senate, he authored Senate Bill No. 2953 or the Act creating a Hydrogen Research and Development Center to support and encourage the use and development of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy. PNA/northboundasia.com